The “Triangle Method” Is TikTok’s Favorite Flirting Technique
It’s all about the eye contact.
When Chloe Taylor learned about the triangle method, she realized she’d been unknowingly employing it for years on everyone from friends to co-workers. Taylor, 26, TikTok creator and host of the podcast Pretty Brutal, read about the flirting technique in the book The Power of Eye Contact by Michael Ellsberg. That’s when the lightbulb went off. “Oh, my God, I do that,” Taylor recalls thinking. “Wait, I wonder if that’s why guys think I’m flirting when I’m just being nice.”
This trick, which relies on the subtle but intentional use of eye contact, has garnered more than 39 million views on TikTok under the hashtag #trianglemethod. It’s not a brand new concept — the technique has actually been circulating online for years — but it’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity via the app. Taylor’s video claims it can help someone get out of the friendzone. Other creators swear it gives them “butterflies” and gets them “stuttering” when someone else employs it. According to believers, it can work on anyone from a random babe to your long-term partner — and it might even make them fall in love with you instantly.
How To Do It (& Look Totally Natural)
Imagine sitting in a cozy coffee shop when you spy a major hottie from afar. You’ve tried sending them telepathic signals, but it’s not working. You’re all out of cheesy lines, and you can’t ask them what time it is because they’ve already seen you look at your phone 100 times. That’s where the triangle method comes in. Once you make eye contact with the person you’re into, slowly look at one of their eyes, then the other, then their mouth. Think of it as a love spell, but without needing to steal a lock of their precious hair.
“The triangle method works because it creates a sense of intimacy without coming across as too aggressive or forward,” says Tina Fey, relationship expert and founder of the relationship advice website Love Connection. “It’s a nonthreatening way to show you’re confident and interested in the person and hoping to spark a conversation.”
If the research is any indication, there might be something to this. “Extended eye contact can cause the release of phenylethylamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of attraction,” body language coach Karen Donaldson tells Elite Daily. “It has also been thought to release oxytocin, the love hormone associated with longer-term bonding and commitment.” In other words, locking eyes with someone can make you feel all lovey-dovey and euphoric.
Of course, technique is everything here. If your method is giving more Bugs Bunny than Belle, you may scare someone off. “It shouldn’t be done too aggressively, as this could make the other person uncomfortable,” says licensed professional counselor Megan Tangrandi. “Try to use it in a playful manner so that your partner knows you are flirting and not just making intense eye contact.” After all, you don’t want to seem creepy. The goal is to look flirty, friendly, and approachable so the other person feels comfortable talking to you.
What Kind Of Results Can You Expect?
Ariana Nathani, 26, creator and host of the dating podcast Drinks First, tells Elite Daily about her experience using the triangle method: “I’m currently in a relationship, and it definitely works on my boyfriend when I want a lil kiss or attention. I’ll use it when we’re on dates or even just hanging out.” The first time she tried it, he giggled, but after a few more attempts he eventually went in for a kiss. Now Nathani says her boyfriend knows what she’s doing, so he smooches her right away.
Taylor says the triangle method even unintentionally helped her reel in her current boyfriend. “He did mention he thought I was being flirty by doing this when we first hung out [as friends],” she tells Elite Daily. “He thought I was giving him the eyes, but I was actually just trying not to focus on one part of his face. But after that, the whole vibe changed, and he was more flirty with me the rest of the night. We’re still dating now, almost a year on.”
However, Tyler Banks, 17, feels differently. When a girl tried to use the triangle method on him, it fell flat — as he explained in a January TikTok video. “I think she was forcing it,” Banks tells Elite Daily. “I had seen a video about it before, so I knew what she was doing. So I broke eye contact,” he says. “She had that L rizz.”
Ultimately, success with this technique may come down to your body language — and, obviously, the other person’s mutual interest. “I think it’s especially helpful for people who are shy or nervous about flirting, as it lets them test the waters,” Fey says. “They can gauge the other person’s response before making a more direct move.” Practice until it feels natural, so when you do spot a potential crush, you’ll be ready to reel them in like a pro.
Karen Donaldson, body language expert
Tina Fey, relationship expert and founder of the love and dating website, Love Connection
Megan Tangrandi, licensed professional counselor